The James Beard Foundation Semi-finalists were announced this week. JBF is the most prestigious organization in the professional culinary world and the coveted awards bring certain fame (and more customers!) to the winner's restaurant. It is the Academy Awards of the foodie world.
Since 1986, the annual James Beard Foundation Awards honor the best chefs, restaurant professionals, food writers and other media in the industry. There are 55 categories in the Foundation's various awards programs - Restaurant and Chef, Restaurant Design and Graphics, Book, Broadcast and Journalism - in addition to special achievement award honorees including Lifetime Achievement, Humanitarian of the Year, Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America and America's Classics.
Emeril Lagasse was named the 2013 James Beard Foundation's Humanitarian of the Year for his work with the Emeril Lagasse Foundation, which supports nonprofit organizations and educational initiatives that create new opportunities for children, especially for those from disadvantaged circumstances. His charity work is focused within the communities where his restaurants operate, tailoring its efforts to each location. The Foundation's accomplishments range from the creation of fresh foods cafeterias to establishing culinary learning centers.
Check out the complete list of 2013 James Beard Foundation Awards Restaurant and Chef Semifinalists.
Photo courtesy of the James Beard Foundation.